Celebrating a birthday with a Sunday Dinner, in this instance at Tenbury and the celebrant's local - The Ship Inn.
Stepped out to lashing rain, sloshing the car carefully through the puddles that seem to instantly form at the sides of the road up to Tenbury which had had no rain at all. Managed to park in the main street, which had a few spaces free and joined half the group at the inn. with the rest turning up just after.
Some kerfuffle on our side about who sits where resulting in me switching a short chair for a long backed one which resulted in a query from the landlady "You'll see why when I sit down" I replied. Nice to have a seat that I can actually lean back on. Also good for me was that either the table was higher or the seats lower (I'm guessing the table) as, again, for once I could sit upright and not be a foot and a half away from the plate below me; just a few inches higher, but it makes a difference I get so used to slouching.
Counting up revealed that though the table was set for ten it was only laid for eight; quickly sorted. Extra cutlery was a little worn and battered, though I've almost come to expect that from pub/inn 'restaurants' later I discovered that the knives were also a little blunt, but again expected.
Menu's were bog-standard printed in Times New Roman, which my father complained to me he couldn't read; he's become such a font snob now he's typing so much on the computer :-P
Instead of the one or two desultory pieces we had a basket that even contained different types of bread - most yummy though highly filling. The marmalade went well, though a little more to match the humongous pâté would have been nice, also the nature of it was stringy (not in a bad taste way) which meant it tangled up with itself making it difficult to eke it out.
Oh and as a nice touch the butter was in roughly thin inch and a half sided isosceles triangles rather than the standard rectangular dollops that have either been removed from the packets or you're expected to remove yourself - made spreading much easier.
I ended up leaving some of the pate, delicious though it was, simply to allow room for my main course.
For that I chose the platter, weather being as it was and driving I didn't want something that might be too heavy. Large plate packed with food . Two thin medium slices of the different meats; two roast potatoes; standard salad leaves; beetroot, tomato slices, coleslaw; stuffing, and a slice of goat's cheese and onion quiche. No new potatoes as listed on the menu, but I'm not a fan so didn't care. No real extras for me; but some had a small side dish, but for mine with the pile on the plate they weren't needed and it did mean the table didn't get overcrowded with dishes; which can be a real pain shifting glasses about etc.
Cutting the meat is where I found my blunt knife a detriment- not a slur on the meat which was fine, but I had a tougher job cutting that I should have done. Roast potatoes... hmm crispy skin slightly over done on the base, but most certainly not as bad as I've had.
I do hate having to say "as I've come to expect", but... as I've come to expect they tasted slightly more like baked potatoes (albeit in a crispy skin) rather than roast. For anyone going "huh?" roasting attempts to maintain moisture*, baking leaves them dryer hence adding butter etc. I don't know if this is some attempt on many establishments' part to cut down on oil and thus be healthier, but it does affect the taste. Don't get me wrong they were fine, but too dry to be really 'roast' for me.
Goat's cheese and onion quiche went well; nice and cheesy and the thin pastry was lover-ly butter-ly. Stuffing was the stand-out though - pork sausage-meat with onions and mushrooms; I could have eaten it up all on its own.
A little bit more meat, or a little bit thicker would have suited me better, but even so it was difficult to clear the plate given the quantities; so maybe they judged it right after all.
The desert menu came on its own sheet, which I forgot to take a photo of. Apricot and brandy snap; bread and butter pudding; trifle; lemon cheesecake; Eton mess; treacle tart. Watching my alcohol intake I sadly forwent the black cherries in Marsala wine and was told I made a wise-choice by someone who got a teeny bit tispy on it. I did sneak a spoon and was sorry I missed out.
Instead I had the chocolate sundae a tall glass packed with chocolate ice-cream; cream; chocolate sauce and a chocolate brownie. A good long spoon provided ample excavating ability though it wasn't as well layered as I could have hoped for. I really needed to dig down to reach the brownie to sample alongside the cream etc. Still, highly chocolatey without being as rich and OTT as some puddings.
After stuffing ourselves we decided against coffee and instead ended up in a discussion regarding the placement of the Tesco in Tenbury and Stourport with one of the staff.
Good dinner, good conversation; what more could one ask for?
*Okay for purists roasting means on an open flame.